An interesting astrological history

Simon Forman Image from the Royal College of Physicians

I confess I have never heard of Simon Forman, so I found very informative (it was posted on Facebook by Stephanie Gailling of ).  He was an astrologer in the late 16th century, predating William Lilly who is one of the more famous medieval astrologers and evidently inherited a wealth of Forman’s knowledge via Elias Ashmole who collected Forman’s papers after death.

Forman may have been one of the first medical astrologers.  Though he “fancied himself a magus [magician],” he also obtained a degree in “physic” and a license to practice medicine after he had been fined for practicing medicine without a license.  Like today, the practice of healing was steeped in political controversy:

The College of Physicians of London was founded in 1514 (it received a Royal Charter in 1674). Its powers waxed and waned over the coming centuries, depending on support from the Crown and courts. It issued licences to practise physic, inspected the wares of apothecaries and heard cases of malpractice. Physic was defined as medicine that concerns the internal workings of the body. It was rooted in the teachings of Galen, adapted and augmented as it was transmitted through the Arab world and into the universities of medieval and Renaissance Europe. The four humours – blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile – had elemental properties (hot, cold, moist, dry) and an imbalance resulted in illness. Physicians advised their clients about how to maintain health through attention to diet, sleep and exercise and prescribed remedies to maintain the correct balance or to moderate a disruption. As directed, barber-surgeons performed blood-letting and apothecaries filled prescriptions for substances to evacuate the […]

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By |2011-08-23T18:58:48-04:00August 23rd, 2011|Astrology|1 Comment

Mercury retrograde alert!

Mercury retrogradeMercury retrograde is already wreaking some confusion regarding the date and time that it actually begins.  I have been reading on some sites that Mercury turned direct on August 2nd, but according to my Solar Fire software Mercury actually turns retrograde tonight, August 3rd, at 11:50 pm EDT/3 am August 4th GMT.  Mercury was stationary prior to that, meaning that its motion had slowed down to a virtual crawl  in preparation for its change of direction.

If any of my readers are not familiar with Mercury retrograde, and for those who are but need a refresher course, for the next three weeks we can expect communication to be a bit wonky, technology devices may not as operate as we expect them to, and confusion may reign in our world at times.

Mercury retrograde periods serve an important function, which is to force us to look backwards and see where aspects of our lives need to be reworked.  It’s a well-known adage that anything with the prefix “re-” is useful during Mercury Rx periods.  Renovate your house.  Re-do your website.  Revise your resume.  Repair a damaged relationship.  These are periods of time in which we get a do-over if we need one, but it also means that our lives will not always proceed per our plans (do they ever really??).

For me it means that while I’m out of town this week I’ll be reposting older articles.  I had thought I could be cranking out fresh material, but that is turning out to be more difficult than I had hoped!  I hope you enjoy them.  I’m checking the comments and posting on my page when I can, so I haven’t abandoned you, dear readers.

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By |2011-08-03T21:00:45-04:00August 3rd, 2011|Astrology|Comments Off on Mercury retrograde alert!

A quiet period in planet town

July planetary cycles Photo from NASA

My readers will be relieved to know that over the next week or two the planetary energy is much more mellow than what we have been experiencing over the past few months, especially in July.  The outer planets which have created so much pressure and power are beginning to move away from each other and will not make any major aspects for the rest of the year.

Even Mars will be relatively quiet and not give us too much trouble by not playing nicely with the other planets until it enters Cancer on August 4th.

Mercury will be turning retrograde on August 2nd at the first degree of Virgo so it will dip its toes into the organization of ideas that Virgo inspires and then retrograde back into Leo where the focus is on ways to enhance the sense of Self.  I’ll be writing more about this process as we get closer, but we can utilize this retrograde period to assimilate the shifts and changes that have occurred in our lives and be better prepared for next year’s planetary realignments.

Clarification: Dharmaruci made the point in the comments that the actual square of Uranus and Pluto is still tightening and won’t actually begin to separate until early August.  That is certainly true, but their interaction has been intensified by the energy of the eclipses and with that intensity lessening we will begin to resolve some of the conflict of Uranus/Pluto.

DR also points out that Mars will be entering Cancer on August 4th, at which time it will begin to set off Uranus and Pluto, and then Saturn but these will be more like the kind of aftershocks we experience after an earthquake rather than […]

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By |2011-07-19T08:01:21-04:00July 19th, 2011|Astrology|6 Comments

Does astrology work in the southern hemisphere?

southern hemisphere astrologyTropical astrology is based upon the turning of the wheel of the seasons, with Aries at the Spring equinox and the rest of the cardinal signs marking the beginning of the other equinoxes and solstices.  But what happens in the southern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed?  When the first day of Aries marks the first day of autumn, does astrology still work?

For some reason I have more clients in Australia than in any other country, and often when reading charts for people born “down under” the question of the accuracy of “northern-centric” astrology.  Time and time again, the chart proves its accuracy.

One of the flagship astrological software programs, Solar Fire, comes to us from Esoteric Technologies in Australia.  Charts in Solar Fire for southern hemisphere births are calculated exactly the same as for those in the northern hemisphere.  (I had a short Facebook chat with Jamie Darkstar who confirmed that Australian astrologers use the same charts that we do here up north, but he reminded me that many of the experts in fixed stars, as Jamie is, are Australian.)

Western astrological symbolism comes down to us from the ancient Greeks who saw the sky  from the perspective of the northern hemisphere which is a mirror image of the sky from the southern hemisphere.  But it’s important always to remember that astrology is a symbolic system – the signs are BASED on the constellations, but they are NOT the constellations.

The famed Dane Rudhyar and some other astrologers have proposed reversing the astrological chart to better fit with the astronomical reality of the southern hemisphere.  Others disagree:

For contemporary astrologers, signs are seasons, however they are psychological seasons, not literal ones.  While the Sun in a sign pinpointed the […]

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By |2018-11-09T16:49:59-04:00July 11th, 2011|Astrology|5 Comments

Lynn’s Skywatch for July, and the July 1 solar eclipse

Lynn's Skywatch for JulyI’ve posted the Planetary Illuminations for July, and you can read the entire article here.  You can also read the abridged English translation here, and if you would like Skywatch delivered each month in your email box just sign up in the sidebar.

Meanwhile, the last of the eclipse series occurs July 1st so here’s the information on that and the introduction to July:

July begins with the Cancer New Moon and a partial Solar Eclipse.  This is the third of an eclipse series that began on June 1st and you can read more about this eclipse here.  Although this is a partial eclipse and therefore weak astronomically, it packs a more powerful punch than it normally would because the conjunction of the Sun and Moon that forms the New Moon alignment engaged Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in a Grand Cross formation.  The Grand Cross locks the three planets and the luminaries (Sun and Moon) in battle that will result in a climax of some kind in order to release the energy buildup that occurs through the square.  The presence of Saturn in the Grand Cross in a nearly exact square to the New Moon ensures that there will be a lesson of some kind to learn; Uranus will inspire that a change be made.  The presence of Pluto empowers us to leave behind anything that no longer serves us.  Resistance to these transformative forces will not only slow down the process of change, but also create unnecessary bumps in the road.

The Cancer New Moon offers us an opportunity to begin anew from a place of deep feeling and emotional sensitivity.  This is easier for some of us than others, but the Cancerian […]

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By |2019-05-11T07:34:50-04:00June 30th, 2011|Astrology|Comments Off on Lynn’s Skywatch for July, and the July 1 solar eclipse
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